I haven’t skated with other people in over two weeks. Just living room drills around the cats mostly. As I gear up for practice I realize how much I was scared of appearing out of practice, when really I just needed to be around the people who never have judged me. I get in the pace line after trying to remember how to maneuver 180s so I can practice backwards skating on my new wheels. No words just goofy grins with purple and white mouth guards and we’re off.

This was the first time I could feel the nuances in my skating and the sounds to know to tighten my nuts when I figured out how loose my wheels were.

I imagine in my head every time I am proud of myself where I give myself a little badge or trophy in my head. Like I’m earning my way up to using all those skills together successfully one day!

It’s weird when I imagine myself in a role that I feel I can fulfill and I always saw myself successful as a jammer. I played today and felt so confident taking orders and blocking. I even impressed myself with a 180 move to block while skating backwards. It’s much slower pace and manageable when you have a pack with you yelling orders.

As a jammer, you rely on your team to make hole for you to get through, but man! Those boundaries and those blockers want everything in the world for you to fail and for them to win. In one instance I feel so proud of them for not letting me through but in another sense it is a role that will take some intense training to really fulfill.

I can’t believe how just today I felt like I am evolving from just a skater that knows some derby skills to a derby skater. Bring it on!

-Eirinn Go Brutal

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